The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Oxford.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed throughout your home. Provided there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other perks like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs.
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components will sometimes live longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Oxford, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.